Together, We Moved Mountains

Thank you to everyone who helped to make the MPA 2024 Spring Auction: Together We Can Move Mountains a resounding success. Because of our community’s generosity, we raised $362,194, including $198,969 for this year’s Fund A Need, The Center for Inclusive Teaching and Learning. These donations are an amazing jump start on our overall project need.

Perhaps most importantly, the auction built upon the connections within our community and celebrated all that we have accomplished so far this year. Thank you to our speakers, donors, sponsors, attendees, and volunteers. We couldn’t have done it without each one of you.

Congratulations to our auction item winners, including Tom and Cari Simonson—this year’s Golden Ticket winners!

To learn more about the auction, The Center for Inclusive Teaching & Learning, or to make a gift, please contact Jennifer Rogers-Petitt, director of development and community engagement, at To see all of the photos from the evening, click here.

Support MPA From Home This Weekend

While we wish everyone could join us for the MPA Spring Auction: Together We Can Move Mountains event this year, we’re happy that every supporter can join in from afar!

Thanks to the generosity of our community, we have nearly 200 auction packages for you to bid on and win, even if you can’t join us in person. The silent auction opened earlier this week and will remain open until Saturday, April 20, at noon. Check out our “buy it now” option on some of our most popular packages.

  1. Visit the Silent Auction Page.
  2. Click Login/Register. Create a new account if you have yet to be a part of our auction in the past or log in if you have!
  3. Save, bid, and win amazing items, all while supporting MPA students and teachers.

Learn more about this year’s auction, including purchasing one of our Golden Tickets, which will be drawn on Friday night. You could be the winner of the live auction package of your choice. You don’t need to be present to win!

For questions, contact Jennifer Rogers-Petitt, director of development and community engagement, at

Introducing The Center for Inclusive Teaching & Learning

Heads message


from Jennifer Rogers-Petitt, director of development and community engagement

Editor’s Note: Periodically, you will find a guest Head’s Message here from members of the administrative team. We hope you will enjoy reading their thoughts and reflections about life at MPA.

From an early age, I loved stories. I would make them up for myself at playtime. When I began to devour them in books, I couldn’t put them down, and when I started to write down the fantastical comings and goings of my active mind, I never wanted to stop. As I’ve gotten older, had children, and experienced the highs and lows that life offers, I’ve continued to go back to the stories that have opened my eyes, inspired my heart, and made me think. As a fundraiser, I witness the power of our personal and collective stories every day when:

  • I hear from an alum that their appreciation for MPA grows the more they experience in life;
  • I hear from parents about their journey to MPA and their hopes and dreams for what it can offer their children; and
  • I hear the joys and wishes of our faculty and staff as we dream about continuing to do right by our mission and the children in our care.

When I first came to MPA, my own story unfolded: someone not from Minnesota who had never experienced the independent school world and a fundraiser who had always wanted to be thoughtful about how I approached my work. Throughout my career, I have witnessed that if we dream big, tell stories, and stay true to our mission, we will once again spark the beautiful generosity of our community. I’ve now had six years of seeing that generosity come to life at MPA in so many ways: our incredible Family Commons and Martin Lenz Harrison Library, new tools and technology for students, a renovated outdoor track, new scholarship opportunities, COVID crisis funding, underwriting our diversity equity and inclusion initiatives, an innovation fund for teachers, and now, the Center for Inclusive Teaching & Learning. Throughout it all, I have talked with hundreds of community supporters and heard and shared stories of our collective impact through these funds.

Read More

Golden Tickets On Sale Tomorrow!

Spring Auction 2024We are thrilled to offer our Golden Ticket raffle once again! Golden Ticket holders purchase a 1 in 100 opportunity to win a Premier Auction item. The drawing will be held during our MPA Spring Auction: Together We Can Move Mountains program at the Dellwood Country Club on Friday, April 19 (not necessary to be present to win). Purchase and win a priceless dream package you choose at checkout for just $150 per ticket.

Packages include:
• Take Me Out to the Ballgame
• Tuscany Culinary Escape
• Dinner with Bill Hudson, Head of School
• Blanton Battle Experience
• Find Adventure in Montana
• Getaway in the Hear of Music City

Learn more and buy tickets or sponsorships and get your Golden Tickets on March 1 by visiting this link!

We Need Your Help!

We need your help! The 2024 MPA Spring Auction: Together We Can Move Mountains is our biggest fundraising event of the year, raising over $200,000 in support of students and teachers. One of the best ways we raise funds is through the silent and live auction. It is a wonderful chance for you to help with this year’s event and support every student at MPA. No item is too big or small! If you don’t see your idea on our wish list, it may still be an excellent fit for our event, and we encourage you to contact us to discuss more.

Tickets and sponsorships are now on sale!

For questions or more information, please contact or Jennifer Rogers-Petitt, director of development and community engagement, at 651-748-5532.

We want to ensure this community-building event is accessible to everyone. If the ticket prices are a barrier for you to attend, please contact us today for reduced pricing based on your need.

Parents Association News And Events November 29, 2023

US Parent Dinner During the Winter Semi-Formal
Saturday, December 2, 8:15-10:30 PM
Family Thai, 2303 White Bear Ave N, Saint Paul
If you are looking for something to do during the Winter Semi-Formal, consider coming to the parent dinner at Family Thai. While the kids dance the night away, parents can have dinner and socialize with other US families. Family Thai has agreed to stay open late for our group, so please join us! RSVP to

US Parent Quarterly Coffee: College Planning
Thursday, December 7, 8-9:30 AM, PCR
Lisa Pederson and Dr. Quam will be presenting information relevant to all 9-12 US families regarding testing, colleges, and the college planning process. They will be hosting a Q&A session as well during this time. This is a popular session that you won’t want to miss! Coffee and breakfast pastries will be served.

Holiday Gift Wrapping
Monday, December 11
Join the MPA Parents Association for this beloved Holiday event. Give the gift of time to our faculty and staff by wrapping their gifts while also putting yourself in the holiday spirit. MPA teachers and staff bring in their unwrapped gifts and we return them wrapped and decorated. All supplies and snacks will be provided. Sign up for one hour or more! See you in the Porter Conference Room (PCR) which is located in the Upper School above the Lansing/North entrance. Read More

A Message From Tim Koerner ’03

Dear MPA Alumni,

At our house, the Halloween decorations have been put away, the Thanksgiving Turkey yard blow-ups are standing proudly in the fading grass (to the delight of our sons), and I am reflecting on the concurrent themes of this month of November: money and gratitude.

Money has been a topic du jour of this month for our family, as we took the leap to take our 5 year old (MPA Kindergartener, Lewis) and 3 year old, Arlo, to Disney World and Legoland for the first time.

“Is this worth it? What will spending all this money do for them?” These questions swirled in our minds as we overpacked for the journey, walked tens of miles through 5 theme parks in 6 days, and as we laced up our shoes for Legoland on November 16th, these same questions arose as Give to the Max stories, appeals and requests began filling our inboxes, a bread crumb trail of all the causes we have ever invested our faith in over the last 15 years.

“Do you still believe in us?” is how I interpreted the core question of each Give to the Max email I received. In the case of MPA, as a Class of 2003 alumns and MPA ‘Lifer’ (K-12 attendee), myself, and current parents of an MPA student, our answer was and is a resounding ‘Yes!’

My wife and I chose to give to MPA on Give to the Max Day, because they have created access to an environment for our son, Lewis, that nurtures him so well, he stated after the first week of school this fall that “I wish I could move my bed there and stay there!” I graduated 20 years ago from the same halls that my son now walks, and I am reminded of the lyrics to ‘The Thanksgiving Song’ by Ben Rector in this month of November:

“Funny how it all looks different
But it feels the same
Like how life never stops changing
But some things never change”

In this month of November, on such a day as Give to the Max Day, we give our money to the places, people and ideas that give us gratitude.

‘Your Gift, Their Future’ celebrates the countless connections MPA students make each day on campus, across academic innovation, athletic prowess and flourishing arts programs. When I was a high school student at MPA in the early 2000s, gifts such as yours enabled the launching of the laptop program.

During the fall campaign stretch alone in 2023, you see the fruits of such gifts as cross country runners and The Blue Wave make their way to State, middle school students put on a stellar ‘Puss N’ Boots’ production with incredible set design and a NYT bestselling author and poet, Jacqueline West, visits campus.

“Is this worth it? What will spending this money do for them?” Whether it’s a family trip, a campaign gift or a Give to the Max Day infusion at the level you are able to contribute, you perpetuate the spirit, energy and ideals of a place that gives you and your children gratitude.

I can think of no better worth for money, myself, and I am grateful to have experienced MPA firsthand, 20-30 years ago, now seeing my son revere MPA as a second home, as I once did.

Apparently, a few of you out there share similar sentiments, as the challenges seen below were met during the MPA Give to the Max Day and Fall Campaign: $529,156 raised overall throughout the Fall Campaign and $356,491 raised on Give to the Max Day.

Because of your generosity and gifts, students will continue to thrive and joyfully experience opportunities at MPA that will shape and enhance their future(s), in the years to come.

On behalf of the current MPA parent community, the Alumni Association and all our beloved MPA teachers and staff, we are thankful for you this season!

See why others gave by reading the comments here.

PJs and Pancakes: Founders’ Day Breakfast 2023

The Board of Trustees warmly invites you to the Annual Founders’ Day Pancake Breakfast. This is a signature MPA event that you won’t want to miss!

Wednesday, December 6
7-8 AM | Family Commons

Come early to visit and avoid long lines! No RSVP is needed.
Lower School parents should plan to attend with their children.
All students are invited to wear PJs for a cozy day at school!
A top eight allergen-free option will be provided at a separate station.

If you have any questions, contact Cherie Honan, Executive Assistant to the Head of School, at or 651-748-5522.

We look forward to seeing you there!

MPA Parents Association Book Festival 2023

December 4-8

The Book Festival is coming up just in time for Winter Break reading or holiday gifts. Each year at MPA, our community supports the Martin Lenz Harrison Library and the joy of reading through the Book Festival. The Parents Association, in partnership with the Library, organizes the sale of new and used books. Book Festival goals include getting books into the hands of our students while supporting Library initiatives. Whether that is the prompt purchase of the next book in a popular new series, school subscriptions to the New York Times, or helping to fund events, the Book Festival exists to enrich and celebrate the Library experience for all MPA students. This is a time-honored MPA tradition that every family is encouraged to participate in! 

We welcome you to support the joy of reading and the Martin Lenz Harrison Library at MPA in the following ways:

Come Shop
Red Balloon Bookstore and Usborne Books will be in the MPA Gallery, December 4-7, 7:45 AM-4 PM, and on December 8, 7:45 AM-12 PM. Credit cards or checks only, please. A portion of all sales benefit the Library. In addition, join us the evening of December 4 until 7 PM for an MPA Shopping Night at Red Balloon in St. Paul.

If you prefer to shop online, you can order from Red Balloon here. Online merchandise from Usborne Books, Kane Miller Books, and SmartLab STEM kits available through PaperPie Learning (formerly Usborne Books & More) can be found here.

You can also shop at Red Balloon Bookstore on Grand Avenue in St. Paul all week. Please mention at check-out or in the comments that you would like your purchase to benefit MPA.

Used Book Sale
Donate your gently loved books for all ages to our Used Book Sale. Carts are at the North and South entrances through December 1 for convenient donation drop-offs. Please, no textbooks, encyclopedias, or travel guides. All proceeds benefit the MPA library. Read More

Dr. Hudson Reflects On A Night of Pure Imagination

from Bill Hudson, Head of School

I am a huge fan of “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”. I read the book as a child several times and watched the movie as often as possible. (The original movie with Gene Wilder, not the 2005 version with Johnny Depp. I’m kind of a snob about that.) Nothing made me happier than the beautiful rendition of Pure Imagination sung by the concert Choir at a past MPA Spring Concert. Imagine my delight when I heard that the Auction Committee chose “A Night of Pure Imagination” as this year’s theme! But don’t worry, I was told that I couldn’t wear an orange top hat.

Movies aside, “A Night of Pure Imagination” is a wonderful theme for the Spring Auction for it speaks to what we can accomplish together when we unbridle our imagination. The song “Pure Imagination” is about the power of imagination and the endless possibilities that come with it. I truly believe that if we harness our collective imaginations, there is nothing we can’t do.

The MPA Spring Auction isn’t just a fundraising event, it is about celebrating our community and joining together to build relationships and honor every member. We are so excited to be back in person at a beautiful venue again this year, the InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront, on the evening of Friday, April 21. “A Night of Pure Imagination” is a chance for new and seasoned parents, alumni, grandparents, parents of alumni, and employees to celebrate all we’ve accomplished.

A true community endeavor, the Spring Auction relies upon hundreds of community members and area businesses to succeed. I am exceptionally grateful for the work of our volunteer planning committee of Bethany Branan, Julie Bixby, Nikki Butts, Rebekah Cook, Sarah Cotter, Lucia Gray, Jessie Flynn, Tina Heidelberger, Natalie King, Tara Lafferty, Amy Minear, Molly Oliver, Renee Roach, Leslie Todero, and Deanna Walsh under the leadership of host Mindy Ruane.

There is still time to buy your tickets to the auction. You will want to do that by tomorrow because prices will increase on April 1. We want to ensure this community-building event is accessible to everyone. If ticket prices are a barrier for you to attend, reducing pricing is available based on your need.  There is also still time to contribute a few bottles of wine for the fun wine toss, donate a silent auction item, and sign up to be a sponsor.

Finally, you don’t need to buy hundreds of candy bars to get your own Golden Ticket! Back by popular demand, MPA’s Golden Ticket is your opportunity to win one of our amazing Live Auction items for only $150. Purchase one of 100 Golden Tickets which will be drawn during the Spring Auction program (not necessary to be present to win). Win one of the fabulous trips and experiences worth thousands of dollars! Tickets are now on sale!

I hope you will consider attending and contributing in some way. Like the movies and the song, MPA is about fueling the imagination of our students and encouraging them to dream big. Imagination and creativity are two important attributes of a mindset necessary to navigate our ever-changing world.   Please join me for a “Night of Pure Imagination.”